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Hobbits by Lidia Postma
General Information
OriginsA group of Hobbits
LocationsVales of Anduin, Bree, The Shire
LanguagesHobbitish, Westron
Physical Description
Lifespanc. 96 years
Average heightShorter than the other Hobbits
Hair colorNo beards
Skin colorBrowner than the other Hobbits
ClothingNo footwear

Harfoots are one of the three breeds of Hobbits. The Harfoots were the most common and typical of the kinds.[1]


[edit] Nature

They were shorter and smaller than the other breeds, browner of skin, had no beards, and did not wear any footwear; they had neat and nimble hands. They liked highlands and hillsides, and lived in holes they called smials, a habit which they long preserved. They were accustomed to settle in one place longer.[1]

They were also on very friendly terms with the Dwarves, who travelled through the High Pass on the Great Road.[1]

[edit] History

In their earliest known history, the Harfoots lived in the lower foothills of the Misty Mountains in the Vales of Anduin, in an area roughly bounded by the Gladden River in the south and the small forested region where later was the Eagle's Eyrie near the High Pass to the north.

They were the first to migrate westward into Eriador, beginning thus the Wandering Days of the Hobbit peoples[1]. They were first recorded in Arnorian records around T.A. 1050 and it was to them that the name Periannath (Halflings) was first applied by the Dúnedain of Arnor.

They tended to settle down for long times, and founded numerous villages[source?] as far as Weathertop while at the same time their kin were still back in the Vales.[1] By the 1300s of the Third Age they had reached Bree, which long was the most western village of any Hobbits.[2]

The Harfoots were joined between T.A. 1150 and T.A. 1300 by the Fallohides. The Harfoots took Fallohides, a bolder breed, as their leaders.

When The Shire was colonized in T.A. 1601, most of its people were Harfoots.[1]

[edit] Etymology

Harfoots means "one with hairy feet", and is a translation of an archaic Hobbitish form of an old Westron name.

The word is supposed to represent archaic English hǣr-fōt > herfoot > harfoot.

Tolkien noted that Modern English hair, though related, is not a direct descendant of Old English hǣr, hēr and therefore *"hairfoot" would not be a faithful translation.[3][note 1]


  1. However, Wiktionary shows hair as derived directly from hǣr.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Prologue", "Concerning Hobbits"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 759